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Pinball / Led Zeppelin

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The Limited Edition model.
Led Zeppelin is a physical pinball table by Stern, revealed at the tail end of 2020 before its release began in 2021. Primarily designed by Steve Ritchie, it is unsurprisingly based on the oeuvre of the famous rock band of the same name.

The crux of the game are the "song modes" – each of the ten songs featured in the game has a mode tied to it, with the specific shots required for progress changing depending on the section currently playing (the chorus, the bridge, and so on). The goal is to score as many gold records as possible through successful shooting, potentially opening the way to one of two Wizard Modes depending on how well the player does. In addition, the player can embark on a total of four tours (all based on actual Led Zeppelin concerts), completing an increasing amount of objectives to start a multiball. Paired with an unusually complex Score Multiplier system and rewards for making combos, these gameplay features all reflect an overarching emphasis on Scoring Points (even more so than other contemporary pinball machines).

The table's physical features include a miniature Icarusnote  figure that leaps when a nearby target is hit by the ball and a model zeppelin tied to another multiball mode. In addition to the basic "Pro" model that comes with these features, the game also comes in "Premium" and "Limited" versions that add more to the machine. The most significant of these is the Electric Magic device: it raises from under the playfield when triggered, holds a spinner that "charges" it, and can lock a ball upon reaching full charge for an exclusive multiball mode. They also boast an "Expression Lighting System" (96 LEDs inserted into the side of the cabinet, surrounding the playfield with lighting that changes depending on events during a game).

List of songs featured:

This game contains examples of:

  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The Icarus figure seen throughout the game is completely naked but lacks any genitalia.
  • Cap: During World Tour Multiball, the player is tasked with accumulating miles by shooting various parts of the playfield (the ramps, the targets, and so on). Each category will only provide up to 4,000 miles in of itself.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The status of the Icarus Multiplier is indicated by the colors of the four band members' symbols on the playfield. They start at a dark orange and begin transitioning into cooler colors (up to magenta, between 5.6 and 5.9x) as they increase, ultimately resetting back at 6x.
  • Combos: Shooting certain shots in a row increases the player's combo level. Upon completing the combo (by hitting any target on the playfield), it awards a proportionate amount of points and Icarus Multiplier levels.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Making full use of the Icarus X multipliers requires a lot of patience and risk while building them up. However, highly-skilled players have attained multipliers in the thousands, often scoring tens of billions of points in mere seconds.
  • Match Sequence: The game presents the cover of Physical Graffiti, with the doors on the front opening and shutting repeatedly to reveal potential match digits. Eventually, the actual record exits the sleeve to reveal the final number.
  • My Name Is ???: The game's final Wizard Mode is officially referred to as "? Multiball" to heighten its mystique. (Its actual name is "Celebration Day".)
  • Mythology Gag: There are a great many references to the band's history in the game.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The game has no real story, aside from the implied premise of helping the band attain success (as seen in song modes, where the goal is to get as many gold and platinum records as possible, and in the heavy emphasis on concert footage on the display).
  • Score Multiplier: Lots of them.
    • The "Icarus X" playfield multiplier centers around four separate multipliers (themed after the four band members' symbols from Led Zeppelin IV) that can be increased in increments of 0.1x through combos. Once all four of them are activated, the timed "Icarus X" becomes available, multiplying all scoring by the product of the band members' values for the duration.
    • Many of the multiballs and wizard modes contain their own rules for multiplying their own scoring in particular.
  • Skill Shot: The game is designed such that the ball will likely hit the L-E-D targets upon plunging hard enough. One of them is lit at the start of each ball, and hitting it awards the skill shot.
  • Spelling Bonus:
    • R-O-L-L increases the bonus multiplier.
    • R-O-C-K, L-E-D, and Z-E-P increase three of the four primary Score Multipliers.
    • In the Premium and Limited editions, spelling L-E-D-Z-E-P is a necessary prerequisite for starting Electric Magic Multiball.
  • Wizard Mode:
    • Finishing every tour mode lights World Tour Multiball, where the player is tasked with traveling to ten different cities by making specific shots to accumulate miles. Upon reaching a city, every major shot will light for a jackpot – however, the shot taken will be removed from every subsequent jackpot phase, adding an extra level of difficulty.
    • Getting five gold records on all ten song modes (which the game counts as "finishing" them) lights Top of the Charts Multiball, a mode that revolves around obtaining more records to go platinum on each song. Every major shot adds towards the current song, with several methods of multiplying the number of sales. Losing all but one ball starts a timer, forcing the player to either reach platinum or lose.
    • Getting a platinum record (ten gold records) on every song mode lights ? Multiball, where everything awards a song jackpot determined by the number of song shots the player's made. Each of these jackpots in turn contributes towards the multiball's super jackpot amount. Once the player gets down to a single ball, the mode becomes a Timed Mission where every shot is lit for a super jackpot.
  • World Tour: Unsurprisingly, World Tour Multiball is themed around the band traveling to various major cities for concerts.